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I was driving my 650 North on State Route 13 just North of Newark, Ohio and was going about 60 mph. All of a sudden to my right, a young guy with a Trans Am/Firebird pulled out in front of me. I basically was screwed, or so I thought. I briefly locked the brakes up and then pumped them twice while swerving to the right. I missed his rear end by a matter of inches and went off to the shoulder of the road. I didn't drop my Burgy and was able to just keep going. I am usually pretty careful when I ride and constantly scan ahead to look for idiots. The thing I noticed about this guy is while sitting and waiting to pull out, HE WAS ON A CELL PHONE. I think whomever he was talking to must have pissed him off for him to just pull out like that. I did notice then when locked up, the Burgy kept going forward in a straight skid and recovered quickly when I pumped and swerved. At the next little town, the man behind me asked me if I was okay. He said he never saw a bike or anyone respond the way my Burgy and I did. Guess someone was watchin over me today!
 

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I always thought it was a shame that Honda got to the Reflex name first. It fits the Burgman better. 8) Congratulations on the quick recovery. :shock:

Steve
 

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I'm still amazed at how the burg handles in the extremes. When really needed I can whip that bike around like it was a feather. Also, the stopping power, IMHO, is just incredible for a bike that size. Both times I really needed to stop, it came through for me.

Once, a dog came out after the person I was riding with, who was in front of me... Dog changed his mind and came straight for me....

Other time, car pulls out in front of me - sees me - panics- stops right in front of me. Cars on my right, oncoming cars on my left... I'm commited to a full assault on my brakes.

Hey, I never said we had the brightest drivers out here in New England. :)

Anyways, I take the bike to an empty parking lot about once a week and practice panic stops and swerves and other such crazy things. The last place you want to do something for the first time on your bike is when you absolutely need it to save your life. The bike skids straight, everytime.
 

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From the things I've seen, talking on a cell phone while driving should be illegal, and should carry a very stiff fine along with points on the driver's license. It should be a moving violation. Many people talking on a phone while driving are just as impaired as if they had been drinking.

I have panic stopped my 650 three times this past year, including brief brake lockup. The machine stayed straight up and tracked straight as you described. I couldn't even tell if it was the front or rear brake that locked, or both. It is an amazing machine in that regard. With most motorcycles I've ridden I would instantly know which wheel locked up - and locking the rear can be easily as disastrous as locking the front. This is one of several reasons that I feel safer on the Burgman than the V-Strom.
 

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Glad to hear it was only a close call and neither you nor the Burgman was hurt.
 

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Nice work Casek. I think that this one of the largest attractions of the big-scooter - the fact that the long wheelbase makes them extremely stable in all conditions, and gives the pilot a feeling of confidence which is rare on moderm conventional motorcycles.

Using a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal in the UK and Japan.

This story does however highlight the distinct advantage that the ABS model has over the standard model. If this were to have happened on a rainy day, the ending may not have been quite so fortunate. The 650 is a big bike, and when the front goes it does so quickly and terminally. I lost the front of my 650 exiting a hairpin on a "tarmac snake" once upon a time - only a firm stomp on the tarmac of my left boot kept the bike, myself and my passenger upright. Not a braking issue, just an illustration of how fast they go once traction is lost.

ABS doesn't mean the brakes don't lock, it only means that they lock for fractions of a second which gives you a much better chance of staying upright in the rain in such emergency/panic braking situations as you have described. Unless you don't ride in the rain, you can't choose under which weather condtions someone will swerve into to you, so ABS is certainly a "nice to have". You may never use it, and that's a "nice problem" to have.

My Relfex has ABS and the suicidal taxis that I have come across have given me opportuities to shake fists in a threatiening manner as opposed to lock up and chew tarmac - no matter what the weather. And in my experience, driving standards deteriorate along with the weather, so to stay safe we need to be most skillful when conditions are at their worst. Kias has the right idea on this. This is a hugely competent motorcycle, and with consistent practice this can be handled like the AN400. However, not everybody has the time to practice weekly or even ride weekly which may leave them less well prepared for these events when they happen. ABS can take a lot of skill and luck out of the equation, and replace it with a dependable support system - so that the pilot can focus on the ride.

The "combi-brake" system on the AN250/400 and SilverWing is very good in this respect, too.

Pity they don't make the 650 ABS model in white, as high-visability paint is one of the greatest passive safety features in itself.
 

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lycheed said:
Pity they don't make the 650 ABS model in white, as high-visability paint is one of the greatest passive safety features in itself.
Didn't you say the last year they made the Skywave in white is 2002? I take it the 650 Executive was never offered in white. If they did offer the Burgman 650 Executive in white here, I'd be at the dealer placing my order the next day.

I had ABS on the last car I bought (which was also white). I rarely had the ABS kick in. But on the rare occasion it did, i' was glad to have it.
 

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pauljo said:
From the things I've seen, talking on a cell phone while driving should be illegal, and should carry a very stiff fine along with points on the driver's license. It should be a moving violation. Many people talking on a phone while driving are just as impaired as if they had been drinking.
Amen!!
 

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I think ABS is a 100% no brainer and wish it was available on the 400 too! However, saying that I have found the combination braking of the 400 impressively powerful - with ABS just more chance of staying upright in the wet or on gravel when the need to brake to the max arises.

Arguably it has more value to add to motorcycle safety than it does for cages - and all three of my cages are so equipped.
 

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I can also attest to the 650's stopping power. On Labor Day, last week, we had a group ride and were in Reading, PA. We were merging onto a divided highway from the left. Pennsylvania has very short ramps. They should actually have stop signs on them. Anyway, the car two cars up who decides to top when there is no one coming in the left hand lane. The car behind him/her stops suddenly, our lead bike stops and skids, I stop and skid more and my husband on his Honda Valkyrie skids even more and hits my Burg. I skidded straight and stopped. He skidded and swearved hitting me and went down. He now has a broken right ankle and left wrist. If he had a Burg he wouldn't be in the shape he is in right now. He is on the mend and I think he is seriously considering the Burg when he gets on both feet.

I was actually shocked at the little damage my 650 has. It is only the back plastic pieces and license plate holder (and license plate) that are damaged. His bike, however, is still in Reading being repaired. I was able to ride mine back with no problem.

The 650 stopped so quickly and without any swerve that he couldn't match it. Which proves what we were taught in the safety course to keep your distance when you are riding. The problem with this ramp was that you had to speed up to get on, but you have to look out for the idiot drivers in the mean time.
 

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Hi Mary

Sorry to hear about hubby and his misfortune, hope he mends well and quickly.
Maybe he should be considering a Burg now?
A pity they didn't pump the Exec (with ABS) out in 05 for the States
 

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Mary,

Sorry to hear about the hubbys accident. Hopes he heals quickly and please pass on our well wishes to him.

How many were on your group ride? The reason I ask is you said the lead bike skidded. Normally the lead bike is the most experienced rider and shouldn't have put the group in that situation.
 

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Also hope hubby heals quickly, bad break (no pun intended). :)
To date the one problem I have found with the MSF course is how fast some of us forget what we learned :(
 

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Bill,

You are indeed right. 2002 was the only and final year that white Skywave 650's were sold in Japan. Sounds like the year of a fine wine or something...

Re: group riding - most experienced rider at the front
This is certainly one way to ride in a group, but there is also another train of thought that suggests that the strongest and most experenced rider should go at the back. Afterall, it's the guy at theback that get's left behing at traffic ights, or on overtakes, and by nature of being at the rear, he;s the guy that accelerates out of bends last. It takes skill and good judgement to "keep up" safely, so there is an argument for the most experienced rider to "lead" from the back.

Who goes at the front? A smooth and easy going rider - usually older and experienced riding at a constant pace, no risky overtakes, etc. The racer boys and weaker riders should be sandwiched in between the smooth and stable front runner and the strongest most experienced rider at the back.

What do I mean by "lead" from the back? This is probably displayed most clearly on the highway when performing overtakes. Take a group of 4 riders on a 4 lane highway. They approach a line of trucks in the right-hand lane. The "leader" at the rear judges whether it is safe to overtake, indicates and pulls into the left-hand lane, the front runner then does the same, as do the two riders in the middle. They then proceed past the line of trucks and return to the right lane.

If you use the standard formation in this situation, the rearmost and weakest guy can get a slingshot effect as the stronger riders at the front make a good judgement call and make the overtake, and he now has to decide whether he does the same, or waits and "holds the group up". Being the weakest rider he is not well placed to make this sort of decision, and this can lead to dangerous overtakes and in the worst case collisions....

Having said that, smaller, experienced, evenly skilled riding groups can use the standard formation effectively and safely. Both schools of thought have their merits. I tend to lean towards strongest at the back when I ride in larger, mixed ability groups as I don't want the weaker riders to feel excluded or uncomfortable that they are "holding the group up". When I ride with small (3 bikes) similar ability riders with similar spec machines, we use the standard formation.

I don't actually think that our schools of thought on this are that different - your point was that the lead guy should navigate the group through hazards safely - in either goup riding style this is absolutely the case.

What do you think?
 

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Mary, sorry to hear about your husband.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this one - maintaining an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front lessens the chance of these types of collisions. A friend of mine hand a similar collision on his Harley and sustained a similar injury. He had just passed his test and was being “tailgated” by one of my not so “clued up” 996 riding friends. Riding on a single lane mountain pass following a car, the car in front panic braked when he spotted an oncoming vehicle around one of the many blind bends. I can’t say that he suddenly braked, as on a road where two cars cannot pass by each other with numerous blind bends, it is safe to assume that if you are following a car that there will be an opportunity on every single bend for the car in front to perform an emergency braking maneuver. The HD rider skidded but didn’t hit the car, but due to the inappropriately small distance that the Ducati rider had maintained between them the Ducati rider hit the Harley rider from behind. This shunted the HD onto the loose ravel at the side of the road where he tyres locked up and skidded. They both went down at about 15-20mph.

The Ducati rider had a $3000 repair bill, and whilst the long and lean form of the HD meant little damage, the weight of thing falling on his leg at low speed broke his ankle and leg in two places, and wedged him between the Armco and the bike. This wedge effect tore 20 stitches worth of gash into his leg. Due to the remoteness of this location, the HD rider had to be airlifted to hospital, where he remained for 5 days. He was on crutches for six months. The following 3 riders had kept a safe distance from the bikes in front, and watched the drama unfold with horror.

I felt personally responsible as I recommended the route to the group, and as I couldn’t join the ride that day, I had advised them to ride with care on that particular stretch of road. Such a serious injury to a new rider weighed heavily on my shoulders – but essentially it was the result of rider error.

Again, if all the bikes in your group and the two bikes in the case above were fitted with ABS, despite the lack of appropriate distance between vehicles I don't think there would have been any casualties. As Norman says, it's a no-brainer, and it really does add a fifth dimension to motorcycle safety.

I hope your husband recovers speedily, and he gets the F6C back on the road as soon as possible. A bike with as much road presence, torque, attitude as the F6C needs to be out prowling the streets.
 

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Lycheed,

There are to schools of thought here and either one should work well. The point I was trying to make is that the lead rider got the group into a situation he/she shouldn't have. One of the reasons for having the most experienced rider (or second most) at the front is to avoid conditions that would require that would require a panic stop.
 

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VERY good rule Randy!
 

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New helmet sticker: "Could you drive any better if that phone was up your a$$" :twisted:
 
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